Blow for England with pacer Olly Stone sidelined for two weeks with back injury

Press Association Sport 16:48 07/08/2019
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Olly Stone has added to England's injury woes.

England pace bowler Olly Stone will miss the second Ashes Test after being ruled out for at least a fortnight with a back injury.

Stone, who suffered the injury in training on Tuesday, joins fellow pacemen James Anderson and Mark Wood in being ruled out of the Lord’s Test.

Warwickshire sport director Paul Farbrace told the county’s website: “It’s really disappointing for Olly that he’s been ruled out of action for such an important two weeks of cricket because of a reoccurrence of his back injury.

“At the moment there’s a bit of inflammation, but he will undergo a scan later this afternoon so that we know the full course of treatment that he can undertake with the club’s medical team and with the support of the ECB.

“In the meantime, he needs to rest up before he can get his body strong again and ready to deal with the demands of being a fast bowler.”

Stone, 25, made his Test debut against Ireland last month and was in the squad for the first Test at his home ground Edgbaston, but did not play in the heavy defeat by Australia.

He would have been back in contention at Lord’s, with Anderson ruled out until at least the fourth Test.

The third Ashes Test at Headingley begins on August 22, making Stone’s availability for that match highly unlikely.

Jofra Archer, another fast bowler with fitness issues, took six wickets and hit a century for Sussex’s second XI on Tuesday to press his case for an Ashes spot.

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Arthur left disappointed after not being granted an extension to his Pakistan contract

Waseem Ahmed 16:33 07/08/2019
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Mickey Arthur has been relieved of his Pakistan duties.

Mickey Arthur has been left ‘hurt and disappointed’ after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) opted against renewing his contract as head coach of the Pakistan men’s team.

The Australian had earlier sought a two-year extension to his Pakistan stint with his current contract with the PCB set to expire on August 15 but the board decided to go another way in an announcement made on Wednesday.

The PCB have opted against renewing the contract of Arthur or that of his support staff comprising of bowling coach Azhar Mahmood, batting coach Grant Flower and trainer Grant Luden

“I am extremely disappointed and hurt,” the South African told AFP following the PCB’s announcement.

“I did my wholehearted effort to lift Pakistan cricket,” he added.

Arthur took over the Pakistan hot seat in the summer of 2016 and oversaw the team’s historic triumph at the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy in England. Under Arthur’s tenure, Pakistan have established themselves as the top-ranked T20I outfit in the world but the side has struggled to generate the same success in the Test and ODI formats.

Arthur’s final assignment with Pakistan saw the Men in Green narrowly miss out on semi-final qualification in the 2019 ICC World Cup in England. They ultimately finished fifth in the 10-team tournament and lost out to New Zealand on net run-rate.

The former Australia head coach is reportedly one of the shortlisted candidates being considered to replace Trevor Bayliss in the England coaching job.  Bayliss, who led England to their maiden World Cup title recently, is set to return to the Indian Premier League (IPL) after his current contract with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) expires with the completion of the Ashes series.

With Arthur and his support staff now let go, the PCB is set to advertise for the vacant in the near future. The new coaching staff will be appointed after a four-member cricket committee which includes Wasim Akram and Misbah-ul-Haq has assessed the team’s performance in the 2019 World Cup.

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Pakistan not renewing head coach Mickey Arthur's contract

Press Association Sport 12:08 07/08/2019
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Mickey Arthur is to leave his position as Pakistan head coach after it was announced his contract would not be renewed.

The 51-year has been in charge of Pakistan since 2016, having previously coached South Africa and Australia, leading the side to the 2017 Champions Trophy title as well as the number one ranked Test and Twenty20 international side.

Arthur is among the names that have been mentioned as a possible successor to departing England coach Trevor Bayliss.

His exit comes after the side failed to reach the semi-finals of the recent Cricket World Cup, with the Pakistan Cricket Board believing a “fresh approach” is needed.

Batting coach Grant Flower, bowling coach Azhar Mahmood and trainer Grant Luden are also leaving their roles.

PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said in a statement: “The unanimous recommendation of the Committee was that it was time for new leadership and a fresh approach. I am happy to accept their strong recommendations.

“On behalf of the PCB, I want to sincerely thank Mickey Arthur, Grant Flower, Grant Luden and Azhar Mahmood for their hard work and unwavering commitment during their tenures with the national men’s team. We wish them every success in their future endeavours.

“The PCB remains committed to its fans and followers and we will do our utmost to ensure that we make decisions that continue to move Pakistan cricket forward in all formats.”

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